Rwanda: Meteorological Agency warns of strong winds in 23 districts

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The Rwanda Meteorological Agency has warned of strong winds that are expected to blow in most parts of the country between September 11 and 20.

“Strong wind speed of between eight and 10 meters per second is expected over parts of Rutsiro, Karongi, Nyamasheke and Ngororero districts,” the forecast reads.

It warns that strong winds with a speed of between six and eight meters per second are expected in most of the remaining parts of the country, except in parts of Kigali, Ngoma, Bugesera, Kamonyi and Gakenke districts where moderate wind speed between 4 and 6 m/s is expected.

“Impacts associated with high winds such as blowing off roofs, falling leaves and small branches, and lightning damage are likely. Therefore, mitigation and prevention measures should be put in place” , warned the meteorologist.

Rainfall between 15 and 90 millimeters is expected across the country.

Cumulative rainfall of between 75 and 90 millimeters is the highest expected in 10 days over the northwestern parts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Musanze and Burera districts, while other parts of the region including Rutsiro, Ngororero, Gakenke, Rulindo, Gicumbi and parts of Rusizi, Nyamasheke and Nyagatare are expected to receive between 60 and 75mm of rainfall.

The forecast rainfall will also be characterized by thunderstorms as forecast.

Cumulative rainfall of between 15 and 30 mm is the lowest expected during the forecast period and is expected over parts of Kayonza, Kirehe, Ngoma, Bugesera, Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara and western parts of Nyaruguru districts.

Disaster status

In the past eight months, disasters have claimed the lives of 137 people according to the ministry in charge of emergency management (MINEMA).

The report shows that 271 people have been injured by disasters.

About 3,000 houses, 1,539 hectares of crops, 73 hectares of forests, two markets, 17 administrative offices, 261 classrooms, 60 sections of roads, 12 churches and 52 bridges among other infrastructures have been affected by the disasters.

Floods, landslides, lightning, mining disasters, hail, torrential rains and windstorms are major disasters that could wreak havoc.

According to the ministry, anti-erosion measures including tree planting should be adopted by farmers to avoid further damage.

Other measures include rainwater harvesting, relocation of high-risk areas, reinforcement of roofs and ceilings, conservation of wetlands and buffer zones for water bodies and rehabilitation of drainage, among others.

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